Review – Dynasty: The Stuarts John MacLeod (and a potted history of the Stuarts)

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Dynasty – The Stuarts

By John MacLeod

2 stars

I rarely rate a book this low, and if I do I have usually stopped reading it.  I like history, and this was a turbulent time in British History. In fact, it was the only time Britain has been a republic (only for a few years), and it changed the British monarchy forever.

The Stuarts were far more interesting than this author makes out – and more varied so here’s a potted history.

Mary, Queen of Scots: infant queen regnant (most unusual as women rarely came to the throne on their own account); wife to the French Dauphin and would have been Queen of France had her young and sickly hubby not died; married a totally unsuitable nobleman – Lord Darnley (not royalty – shocking for the time); possibly complicit in his murder (which was shoddily done); watched her probable lover murdered in front of her eyes; third equally unsuitable husband Lord Bothwell (he kidnapped and raped her, forcing her into a marriage); deposed; exiled; executed by her cousin for being involved with a treasonous plot to bring back Catholism and usurp the English throne.

James I (and VI):  son of Mary and first husband Lord Darnley (probably); first king of England, Ireland and Scotland (sorry Wales you were already under the English then); King for 57 years in Scotland and 21 years in England. Also came to the throne as a baby – after his mother was deposed. Inherited a realm divided by religion and governed during his minority by 4 different regents; intelligent, and a good scholar he is perhaps best known for the King James Bible – which was translated and produced in English during his reign. He was obsessed with witches and witchcraft – but not in a good way and many people were executed for this ‘crime’ during his reign.

James was probably gay, or at least enjoyed gay relationships with various men at court – although he did his duty and married to produce an heir.  His ‘favourites’ were often rather unscrupulous (by today’s standards) and he was manipulated by them – much to the annoyance of parliament – who wanted to do it. He was married to a 14-year-old Danish Princess (Anne of Denmark). His eldest child died of typhoid, his daughter married to become the ill-fated Elizabeth Queen of Bohemia, and his son Charles succeeded him. Yes, that’s the Charles who annoyed parliament so much they chopped off his head….

Charles I:  Poor old Charles I. He wasn’t a bad man, but he wasn’t a good king. Or at least Parliament didn’t think so. He married a Catholic (and a bossy one) – which did not go down well in the largely Protestant Britain, and kept asking for money to fight costly and unpopular wars. He believed in the Divine Right of Kings – basically the King answered to no one but God Almighty. Parliament also had issues with this, funnily enough. The English Civil War went on for 9 awful years and the country was left rather in chaos during this time. Largely it was a religious war but it was also a conflict of a stubborn king who refused to concede any power and a miffed parliament who thought the king and his Catholic cronies had far too much.  It’s possible that over a 190000 died in England from a population of just 5 million from causes related to the war (sickness, wounds, death in battle) and many more were exiled.  In the end the Roundheads were victorious and the King was executed. I think this was the only time an English monarch has been executed by the state (excepting falling in battle, or by a foreign power, or dubious circumstances whilst in exile/imprisonment).  Charles managed to protect his family – they fled to the continent and had a difficult decade living in exile from the goodwell of various foreign lords and princes.

I will miss out Oliver Cromwell and the Commonweath – only because they weren’t Stuart blood but if you want to learn more this is a good place to start.Oliver Cromwell

Charles II : Charles II was handsome, charming and a darn sight smarter than his old man.  He made concessions when he had to and was smart enough to let Parliament have some power. He was also an inveterate womaniser – his official bastard progeny numbered 14 and there were probably lots more. Unfortunately, legitimate issue was 0 surviving – his Queen had a number of miscarriages and was unable to have a child. Despite legions of mistresses Charles stuck by his barren queen, even though he was urged to discard her.

Charles was keen on the arts, was a bit of a rogue but brought an air of jolity back after the rather dismal years of the protectorate.  He was also tolerant of religion but was careful in his dealings with Catholics (who were still deeply mistrusted). He converted on his deathbed.

He was succeeded by his brother James II, VII…. not a popular king. James was rather arrogant, an obvious Catholic, and probably suffered from some serious mental issues (not surprising really as his father was executed for treason). He married Anne Hyde (also not royalty) and then tried to shirk off the marriage. His two daughters would become Queens in their own right, but his second marriage to a Catholic Princess (Mary of Modena) was the final straw. James was far more intolerant than his brother, and less of a statesman. Eventually he was deposed in favour of his son-in-law and nephew, and his daughter (who married her cousin…) – they would jointly reign as Mary II and William III.

He survived rebellions, plots and although he was finally deposed (by his own daughters) he kept his head (unlike his father).

No one wanted civil war again and so when William and Mary were ‘invited’ to take the crown it was done surprisingly bloodlessly.  Trouble in Ireland (that was reflected to the present day) marred the reign, and they were sometimes held to be usurpers (James and his faction would try and regain the throne for James, and his heirs for many years to come, causing turmoil and bloodshed aplenty particularly in Scotland).

William fought the French (England was at war with our neighbours across the channel on and off for nearly a thousand years until the peace which came after the second world war) and was often absent. Wars were costly (and unpopular – nothing changes much).

He may also have had homosexual relationships with courtiers and favourites, but he was deeply upset when Mary died of smallpox. He died after a fall from his horse and the dubious medicine of the time.

Queen Anne was perhaps the most tragic of the Stuart monarchs, and she was the last (depending on who you ask… Jacobites looking at you). She had many health problems, including mental health (as did most of her line) and lost seventeen babies and infants. Which did nothing to help either her physical or mental wellbeing. She had problems with her sight, and later in life became obese (her coffin was nearly square), with the associated problems of being overweight. She also oversaw the Act of Settlement – which finally united Scotland, Ireland and England into Great Britain and not seperate countries. (Some would argue this wasn’t a good thing and the countries would be better off running themselves but that’s a debate for another day).

Anne was not the brightest bulb in the chandelier but she was, by many accounts, kind, dutiful and did her utmost to be a good queen. She was also passionate  and emotional- and her various intense friendships with women, including the Duchess of Marlborough (who was quite unkind about her later). She survived Jacobite plots to put a half-brother on the throne and the aftermath of the War of Spanish Succession.

So anyway… about the book….

I was quite disappointed by this book. Way too much of the author’s own opinion in this. I found it rather anti.. well everyone really.

No one came out of it well (although to be fair the history of the Stuarts is not the most glorious) but there was a rather anti-gay, anti-catholic, tone to the book.  In one place he described homosexuality as a ‘sin’. Technically it was then – but that was not the context of the sentence, or at least didn’t seem to be. There had been previous mentions about the various alleged and supported gay relationships of the monarchs but these were generally portrayed in a negative way. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be like that but it came across that way.

The subject matter is interesting, but it reads a bit like a sensationalist newspaper. I’d have liked more on Queen Anne, she was the last Stuart monarch and barely got much of a mention. What was said was basically she was stupid, dull a bit of a non-entity.

It wasn’t all bad – there was an element of amusement in some places, and the author is passionate about the subject (opinions aside). The chapter on Mary Queen of Scots was interesting. It was also interesting to see the history from the Scots perspective.

I’m sorry but I wouldn’t recommend this to history lovers – there are better and less biased books on the market.

 

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Dirty Dozen Author Interview – Russ Crossley – Warrior Bundle #Sci-fi #Warriorbundle

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Author name: Russ Crossley

Remembering Warriors is a commemorative Bundle – Why is it important to you to support these causes? In my family my father and my uncles fought in World War 2. I also have friends who served in Korea in the early fifties. I think we must do whatever we can to support those returning military veterans who were wounded during their time serving their country to honour them and thank them for their service and sacrifice on our behalf.

Do you have anyone you remember who was wounded or fought in war (either past or present)? A German V1 rocket wounded my father when he was stationed in England with the Royal Canadian Army prior to D Day in 1944. He recovered from his wounds in time to participate in the D Day operation. He served in the artillery.

*Please tell us about your publications.

What first prompted you to publish your work? I began writing fiction for sale over twenty years ago but never had any idea how to begin until I attended the Oregon Coast Professional Writers Master Class taught by award-winning professional authors and editors Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Katherine Rusch. Kris and Dean taught me how to become a better writer and most importantly how the publishing process works and how to break in the business. I then started submitting to The Strange New Worlds writing contest sponsored by Pocket Books and was eventually accepted three times.

What have you found the most challenging part of the process? The overall experience of the traditional publishing process is very challenging to most beginners.

Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’? Very much a  “pantser’. I have tried plotting and found it doesn’t work for me. I enjoy being surprised by the direction the characters take the story. It makes for unexpected twists and turns, which I read for myself.

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your publishing journey? Trust yourself and don’t be too hard on yourself when you fail.

If you could have dinner with any literary character who would you choose, and what would you eat. Jack Reacher. I would eat a medium rare steak and salad.

What are your views on authors offering free books? Do you believe, as some do, that it demeans an author and his or her work? On a limited basis as a short-term promotion I have no problem with it. On a longer-term or permanent basis, I think this is foolish. I don’t think it demeans them or their work but it fails to recognize that publishing is a business as well as an art and that their work has value. Customers are willing and often want, to pay for this work if they see it has value. Writing is hard work and I feel we should be compensated for this work just like any other job.

What are your views on authors commenting on reviews? Don’t. Ever. Very bad idea.

How do you deal with bad reviews? I place very little weight on any reviews be they good or bad. They are individual opinions based on individual taste and personal biases. You can easily find all sorts of opinions about any art be it film, TV, books, plays, paintings etc. I mostly ignore them except for marketing purposes because I know some folks respond to good reviews.

Sort these into order of importance:

Great characters

Good plot

Awesome world-building

Technically perfect

How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at? Currently I’m writing space opera set in the far future so I can pretty much make up whatever I like. But I have done considerable research for some previous projects to get certain details right. The wildest subject I looked at was You Tube videos on how to drive a school bus for a romantic comedy I wrote many years ago called Antique Virgin.

How influential is storytelling to our culture? Extremely important. Storytelling is everywhere on the news in newspapers and magazines. Advertising in every medium uses storytelling either from a static image or in television commercials. The web is a  huge source of storytelling most people don’t even think of as storytelling. Social media is storytelling. Texts, tweets, etc. are storytelling. Even when having a coffee with friends we use storytelling to share news and events. I think it’s what makes us human.

What’s the best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? Write every day to exercise your mental muscles.

What’s the worst piece best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? You must hire an agent to be a published author.

If you could be any fantasy/mythical or legendary person/creature what would you be and why? Superman. His role as super hero is far more complicated than it appears on the surface. His powers make him capable of solving most of our earthly problems I find the possibilities very exciting.

Tell us about your latest piece? I am working on Blaster Squad 6 Galaxy of Evil. It is the sixth book in this action/adventure space opera series set in the year 4154. Blaster Squad accepts a mission to stop a powerful enemy force of mercenaries from capturing a strategically important planet. The stakes are extremely high and the action extremely intense.

What’s your next writing adventure? Blaster Squad 7 will conclude the current story line.

What is the last book you’ve read? Dark Matter by Blake Crouch.

Is this the age of the e-book? Are bricks and mortar bookshops in decline? I don’t think so, at least for now. The majority of readers read both eBooks and paper books in the present time. I expect at some point this will shift to more eBooks than paper but we’re not there yet. I do think online stores are becoming a bigger threat to brick and mortar stores than eBooks.

With the influx of indie authors do you think this is the future of storytelling? Even traditional publishers and agents troll the indie authors for new talent so yes I do tend to think indie authors are creative and are bringing originality to the craft of storytelling. And Indies are bringing back some genres the publishing “experts” thought were dead and gone.

Are indie/ self-published authors viewed with scepticism or wariness by readers? Why is this? I think this is lessening over time as more and more readers discover new authors and entertaining original work. I do think indie authors have to up the professionalism of their work with great covers and properly edited and copyedited books. I would, however, stress to readers if you discover mistakes in indie books but love the story cut the author some slack. Any book no matter who publishes it or who edits it tries to present their best work possible. And writing is HARD work.

Is there a message in your books? Love your family and respect those who are different you.

How important is writing to you? I love story and always have. Creating my own worlds has been an exciting and satisfying journey that continues for the foreseeable future.

Links http://www.53rdstreetpublishing.com

Bio: International selling Star Trek author, Russ Crossley writes science fiction and fantasy, and mystery/suspense. Over his more than 20 year career, he has published 18 novels and almost 100 short stories.

His latest science fiction satire set in the far future, Revenge of the Lushites, is a sequel to Attack of the Lushites. Both titles are available in e-book and trade paperback.

He has sold several short stories that have appeared in anthologies from various publishers including; WMG Publishing, Pocket Books, 53rd Street Publishing, Sapphire Blue Publishing, Champagne Books, and St. Martins Press.

He is a member of SF Canada and is past president of the Greater Vancouver Chapter of Romance Writers of America. He is also an alumni of the Oregon Coast Professional Fiction Writers Master Class taught by award winning author/editors, Kristine Katherine Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith.

Feel free to contact him on Facebook, Twitter, or his website http://www.russcrossley.com.  He loves to hear from readers

Warriors boxset

 

Russ’s short story collection features in Remembering Warriors.

https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/total-war

Bundle Rabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/b/remembering-warriors

Kobo http://bit.ly/2k26wGv

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2BGnSQB

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2AdOEmT

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2zWnKMt

I books http://apple.co/2BFldqf

Russ Crossley cover

My Favourite Genre is…..

I love fantasy, science fiction, true crime, historical (non fic), classics, gothic horror and books about language and words.  I’d be interested to see what my readers prefer. In fact I’ll make you a deal – whatever wins I’ll read a book from that category for my next read and review it – even if it’s not within my usual genre.

Audiobook narrator interview – Jerry Fischer

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*Name:  Jerry Fischer

*Tell us a bit about yourself:

How did you become involved with audiobook narration and production? Studied voice-over technique with Ginny Tyler (voice of Minnie Mouse), Joanie Gerber (voice of one of the Smurfs & various commercials), & Julie Kliewer (voice of Robecca Steam in “Monster High”); was an elementary public school teacher for over 28 years & always read to my students utilizing different voices; past reader for The Learning Tree (Hollywood production studio for reading for the blind)

Tell us about some of the titles you’ve narrated. Do you have a favourite amongst these? Fairview Felines (written by Michele Corriel, exhibiting 20 different voices), Ulrike’s Christmas (MY FAVORITE, written by Victoria Zigler), Hokey Pokey Pirates (written by Peyton King, Kristi King-Morgan), Why Are There Bullies … (written by Rich Linville)

Do you have a preferred genre?  Yes, Kids!    Do you have a genre you do not produce?  Yes, Adults. Why is this? The books are too long and boring

My preferred genre is: Of course, Kids

What are you working on at present/Just finished? Just finished Home Squeak Home (another wonderful book written by Victoria Zigler)

*Tell us about your process for narrating?  (Be as elaborate as you like.) It takes tremendous patience and practice, practice, practice. A voice-over artist is always honing his/her skills. Knowledge of various software programs and mics is a must, along with clear diction, high energy, and a vivid imagination. And, for sure, a love for reading!

What aspects do you find most enjoyable?  Getting into the characters and becoming “them” as I narrate. Being able to bring the books “alive”.

Do you consider royalty share when looking for books to narrate?  Yes, it tends to be much better than price per hour. That is, if you have a great writer and publisher who promotes and networks.   If not why is this? NA

Do you listen to audiobooks? Used to, more in the past than present, since I’m busy with narrating and producing, now that I’m retired (well, from teaching).

*With many people owning MP3 players do you think this is the future of storytelling? Perhaps; however, my grandson encouraged me to stop narrating for anyone over 12 years old, because most teens don’t want to sit down today and listen to an audiobook. Sadly, many adults don’t seem to want to take the time to listen to stories anymore either. I really think we still need to hold onto the old-fashioned style of live storytelling.

Why do you think audiobooks are becoming so popular? Maybe people would rather listen to books that are recorded as they drive in their cars or do things around the home. Sitting down and reading has basically become a thing of the past, even in public schools. Although every year I’m asked to return to my last school and read to different aged students for a special day of reading.

Can you remember the first audiobook you owned? It was a Christian fictional book, This Present Darkness, by Frank Peretti.

Has ACX/Audible fulfilled your expectations? (such as earnings, ease of use, workload etc.?) Earnings, not yet… Ease of use, definitely. Workload, you betcha, and I’m thoroughly enjoying the children’s books.

Have you ever had a negative experience producing a book? Yes, my first one, which cost me money. The writer was horrible with his grammar and I was continuously correcting the manuscript. Having been an elementary school teacher sure came in handy with all the corrections. Unfortunately, the experience caused me to doubt the validity of continuing as a narrator. Yet, I persevered and came into my own, especially with the last books written by Victoria Zigler. I really can’t say enough about this prolific children’s writer. “Mother Goose” move over!

Please tell us a silly fact about yourself. My grandchildren think I’m the silliest Grandpa in the world and I love it! They can’t believe it when I walk up to little children and start having a conversation with my “Donald Duck” impersonation.

Where can we learn more about you? Ask my grandkids or friends, or go to Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), or Facebook, or see me as “Cowboy Jerry 1” on YouTube (Yes, I’m even a prestidigitator.)

Social Media links: Facebook

Jerry has recently narrated – Ulrike’s Christmas

Ulrike's Christmas Audiobook Cover.jpg

Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/Ulrikes-Christmas-Audiobook/B076KWWL6Y/
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/689169
Barnes & Noble:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ulrikes-christmas-victoria-zigler/1125333618
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/ulrike-s-christmas
Chapters-Indigo:
https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/ulrikes-christmas/9781370858835-item.html
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/ulrikes-christmas/id1186265503
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/ulrikes-christmas-unabridged/id1299897702
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ulrikes-Christmas-Victoria-Zigler/dp/1541259998/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Ulrikes-Christmas-Victoria-Zigler/dp/1541259998/
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Ulrikes-Christmas-Victoria-Zigler/dp/1541259998/
The Book Depository:
https://www.bookdepository.com/Ulrikes-Christmas-Victoria-Zigler/9781541259997
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33358687-ulrike-s-christmas

Forthcoming Features and Poll

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I am looking to give the Library of Erana a bit of an overhaul in 2018. What would you, my followers want to see more of here?

Book Spotlight – Hell Holes #Sci-fi #Paranormal

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HELLHOLES FINAL

Blog Tour ~ Hell Holes Series ~ (What Lurks Below & Demons on the Dalton)

Author: Donald G. Firesmith

Genre: Science Fiction /Paranormal/Fantasy

Dates: 11th – 22nd of December

Hosted by: Ultimate Fantasy Book Tours

Hell Holes - Book 1 eBook Cover - 7Aug2017.jpg

Blurb:

 

It’s August in Alaska, and geology professor Jack Oswald prepares for the new school year. But when hundreds of huge holes mysteriously appear overnight in the frozen tundra north of the Arctic Circle, Jack receives an unexpected phone call. An oil company exec hires Jack to investigate, and he picks his climatologist wife and two of their graduate students as his team. Uncharacteristically, Jack also lets Aileen O’Shannon, a bewitchingly beautiful young photojournalist, talk him into coming along as their photographer. When they arrive in the remote oil town of Deadhorse, the exec and a biologist to protect them from wild animals join the team. Their task: to assess the risk of more holes opening under the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the wells and pipelines that feed it. But they discover a far worse danger lurks below. When it emerges, it threatens to shatter Jack’s unshakable faith in science. And destroy us all…

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↓Buy Links↓

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Hell-Holes-What-Lurks-Below-ebook/dp/B012IUE14U

Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hell-holes-what-lurks-below/id1076804292

Booklife: http://booklife.com/project/hell-holes-what-lurks-below-12402

Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/hell-holes-what-lurks-below/9781310431210-item.html

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/608355

Hell Holes Book 2 - FINAL EBOOK COVER.jpg

Blurb:

When hundreds of huge holes mysteriously appeared overnight in the frozen tundra north of the Arctic Circle, geologist Jack Oswald picked Angele Menendez, his climatologist wife, to determine if the record temperatures due to climate change was the cause. But the holes were not natural. They were unnatural portals for an invading army of demons. Together with Aileen O’Shannon, a 1,400-year-old sorceress demon-hunter, the three survivors of the research team sent to study the holes had only one chance: to flee down the dangerous Dalton Highway towards the relative safety of Fairbanks. However, the advancing horde of devils, imps, hellhounds, and gargoyles will stop at nothing to prevent their prey from escaping. It is a 350-mile race with simple rules. Win and live; lose and die…

510c2-addtogoodreads

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hell-Holes-Demons-Donald-Firesmith-ebook/dp/B01FQA1EFI

Booklife: https://booklife.com/my/project/hell-holes-demons-on-the-dalton-12403

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/625752

Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hell-holes-demons-on-dalton/id1097614941

Donald

Author Bio:


A geek by day, Donald Firesmith works as a system and software engineer helping the US Government acquire large, complex software-intensive systems. In this guise, he has authored seven technical books, written numerous software- and system-related articles and papers, and spoken at more conferences than he can possibly remember. He’s also proud to have been named a Distinguished Engineer by the Association of Computing Machinery, although his pride is tempered somewhat by his fear that the term “distinguished” makes him sound like a graybeard academic rather than an active engineer whose beard is still slightly more red than gray.

By night and on weekends, his alter ego writes modern paranormal fantasy, apocalyptic science fiction, action and adventure novels and relaxes by handcrafting magic wands from various magical woods and mystical gemstones. His first foray into fiction is the book Magical Wands: A Cornucopia of Wand Lore written under the pen name Wolfrick Ignatius Feuerschmied. He lives in Crafton, Pennsylvania with his wife Becky, and his son Dane, and varying numbers of dogs, cats, and birds.

His magical wands and autographed copies of his books are available from the Firesmith’s Wand Shoppe at http://magicalwandshoppe.com.

Visit him at:

download (1)download (6)imagesdownload (3)

BOOK TRAILER: https://youtu.be/amXuTAlKoX0

Review – Storm Seed – Janet & Chris Morris #Fantasy

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Storm Seed is the penultimate Sacred Band novel and it’s all you’d expect from Janet and Chris Morris – dark in places, complex and multi-layered, exciting and full of action, sad and yet joyous. As with all of these novels it’s not for the faint-hearted, those who like an ‘easy read’ or those who don’t understand the nuances and lyricism of these two writers. This novel ties up many of the plotlines from previous books; the complex relationships between the Sacred Band members, estranged though they are; the re-emergence of old enemies and old bonds; the reaffirming of loyalty and friendship and, of course, a great big fight😊

What I love most are the characters in these novels. Nikodemos, especially, is such a wonderful creation. He’s the most human, the most troubled and the most courageous. Of all the characters Niko loses the most, but is, perhaps, the only one who can truly understand what it means to retain one’s humanity and sense of self. Surrounded by immortals Niko understands mortality and death more than the others, yet faces it head on and doesn’t quaver. Surrounded by the immortal Commander Tempus, Jihan the Froth Daughter, and a host of more than humans Niko, Strat and Crit fight and work as only those commanded by an immortal can – doing more than they thought possible, for the love for Tempus and each other.

Past decisions and mistakes come a-knocking and when a half-god and Death’s Queen seek revenge a world or two are ravaged. Prepare for blood, for sacrifice and for loss in this book. But be heartened by the unbreakable friendships, the courage and the glory of the Sacred Band. Cleverly woven in is the land of Sandia – a place where the inhabitants plundered their land and seas until their world was mostly barren, their children born in a laboratory and a people dying the slow death of a world ravaged at their hands. Sandia is not so far from home for us. A warning and a lesson, perhaps. Tempus himself finds it hard to understand how a people could destroy their own world in such a way.

It’s a great adventure, a great saga and a great read.

Life to you and everlasting glory.

5 stars.

Remembering Warriors Bundle

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I am delighted to announce the next Bundle! And this one is for charity:)

Remembering Warriors Bundle

In commemoration of the World War One Centenary

COMING JANUARY 1st 2018

Now on Pre-Order

 

One hundred years ago, in 1918, the Great War ended after four terrible years. Never had the world seen such a conflict. All touched by its scythe hoped we would never be thusly reaped again. Their hopes were but desperate dreams. Since that first armistice, there have been many more battles, and thousands have given their lives or their health to preserve freedom and escape from tyranny.

A hundred years after the first armistice we still remember and honour those brave souls. But still, the soldiers fall, for the War to End All Wars did not.

10% of the royalties from the Remembering Warriors bundle will go to the http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/ plus another 10% to https://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/ two charities that support wounded and ex-service personnel and their families, in commemoration of the World War I centenary.

Bundle Rabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/b/remembering-warriors

Kobo http://bit.ly/2k26wGv

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2BGnSQB

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2AdOEmT

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2zWnKMt

I books http://apple.co/2BFldqf

Book #1:

Comrades in Arms by Kevin J Anderson https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/comrades-arms

Book #2:

Outside the Walls by A.L. Butcher and Diana L. Wicker https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/outside-walls

Book #3:

Norman Blood by Barbara G. Tarn https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/norman-blood

Book #4:

The Rise of a Warrior by Harvey Stanbrough https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/rise-warrior

Book #5:

Total War by Russ Crossley https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/total-war

Book #6:

Resonant Bronze by J.M, Ney-Grimm https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/resonant-bronze

Book #7:

Siren by Blaze Ward https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/siren

 Book #8:

The Museum of Modern Warfare by Kristine Kathryn Rusch https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/museum-modern-warfare

Book #9:

Nothing for Nothing by Harvey Stanbrough https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/nothing-for-nothing

Book #10:

The Rescue by Blaze Ward https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/nothing-for-nothing

Book #11:

Soldier, Storyteller by Linda Maye Adams https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/soldier-storyteller

Book #12:

Heroes of Old by Russ Crossley https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/heroes-old

Book #13:

With a Broken Sword by Stefon Mears https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/with-broken-sword

 

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Dirty Dozen Author Interview – Marcelle Dube – Mystery – Winter Warmer Bundle

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Author name: Marcelle Dubé / The Tuxedoed Man

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*Please tell us about your publications.  I’ve written and published many short stories, much to my surprise. I always thought of myself as primarily a novelist, but in recent years, I’ve written more and more short stories, sometimes at the request of a publisher or to meet a thematic need, but more often because an idea got caught in my head and wouldn’t shake loose until I wrote it down.

My novels range from fantasy to mystery to modern gothic to “women’s thrillers.” I find that no matter the flavour of the novel, most of my stories end up with a mystery at their heart. For instance, Backli’s Ford features an alien species trying to fit in on earth, but really the story is a murder mystery at the heart of a greater conspiracy. Then the Mendenhall Mysteries (including The Tuxedoed Man) are straightforward mysteries

Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’? Definitely a pantser. I’ve tried many techniques for writing novels and learned that plotting is not for me. I’ve written beautiful plot outlines and never wrote the novels because I didn’t see the point. I’d already written the story. As a pantser, I never really know what’s going to happen next, and that keeps me on my toes. Of course, it also means a lot of backtracking to take a different path.

What are your views on authors commenting on reviews? Don’t do it. Step away from the keyboard. Don’t freak out the reviewers. They’re entitled to their opinions, whether they love your story, or hate it.

How do you deal with bad reviews? ::big sigh::  Every time I see a bad review, I have to go find my big girl panties and put them on. Then I get over it.

Sort these into order of importance:

  1. Great characters

Character is all. Period.

  1. Good plot

A close second to great characters. You need great characters, in a good story.

  1. Awesome world-building

Setting matters. Your reader has to be able to see, smell and hear the setting, whether it’s a house in a Canadian suburb or a generation ship heading for a new planet.

  1. Technically perfect:

Well, what the heck is that? I’ve never seen it and doubt I’ll ever achieve it. As long as I write a good story that resonates with my readers, I’m happy.

How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at? I don’t really like to research but I am driven by insecurity. When I wrote Ghosts of Morocco, I did a *ton* of research. I’d never been there, was unfamiliar with the geography, politics, culture, languages… I have no idea why I set half the story there, but that’s where it had to be, so I researched.

The wildest subject I’ve looked at? To date, artificial bovine insemination. You wouldn’t believe how they go about it…

What’s the best piece best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? Apply seat of pants to seat of chair. As in, don’t wait for “inspiration.” Write every day and exercise that writing muscle.

What is your writing space like? I have a ridiculously large bedroom, so I use a corner of it for my writing space. I use a long, narrow table and prop my laptop up on the Canadian Encyclopedia. On the wall in front of me are small cork boards with various cards, sayings and photos that inspire me. From the vantage of my writing chair, I can see the roofs of the houses across the way, and above them, Haeckel Hill and its windmills.

Tell us about your latest piece? I’ve just published The Forsaken Man, the fifth in my Mendenhall Mystery series featuring Chief of Police Kate Williams and her intrepid band of constables. I’m not really sure how I ended up with a series. It started with The Shoeless Kidand I found that I really liked the characters of the small police detachment in Mendenhall, Manitoba. Technically, the series is a police procedural, but it is very much character driven and feels “cozy.”

What’s your next writing adventure? Right now, I’m working on my second A’lle Chronicles mystery. The first one, Backli’s Ford, introduced the reader to Constance A’lle:

In the early 1700s, an A’lle generation ship crashed in the woods of Lower Canada. Survivors stumbled out of the wreckage to find French settlers working the land. While many of the colonists sheltered the injured A’lle, some reacted with fear and loathing. Two centuries later, nothing much has changed.

This is the world Constance, first A’lle investigator for Lower Canada, must deal with when she investigates the beating death of an A’lle boy in the small village of Backli’s Ford.

Set in 1911, Backli’s Ford follows Constance as she survives an ambush that would have killed a human, fights prejudice in the constabulary, and discovers a terrible secret that risks destroying the delicate balance that has endured for two centuries between A’lle and humans.

The second book, tentatively titled Plague, follows Constance and her sister Gemma as they work to discover who is murdering A’lle, and try to prevent a smallpox epidemic.

What is the last book you’ve read? Glass Houses, by Louise Penny—one of my favourite mystery writers. Right now, I’m halfway through Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck and while I’m getting a little freaked out, I can’t seem to put it down…

Are indie/self-published authors viewed with scepticism or wariness by readers? Why is this? I don’t think readers care if an author is indie published or traditionally published. As long as the cover is well designed and the story well written and well edited, why should they? Nobody buys their books based on who the publisher is. At least, I don’t.

Links:

Web: www.marcellemdube.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarcelleDube

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marcelle.dube.3

Bio:

Marcelle Dubé grew up near Montreal. After trying out a number of different provinces—not to mention Belgium—she settled in the Yukon, where people still outnumber carnivores, but not by much. Her novels are published by Falcon Ridge Publishing and Carina Press, and her short fiction has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies. Learn more about her and her published work at http://www.marcellemdube.com.

The Tuxedoed Man appears in Winter Warmer Bundle

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